Wednesday, 27 October 2010

ATEX signal amplifier

Mantracourt has a new ALA5 Load Cell Amplifier. The ALA5 is an ATEX approved strain gauge/load cell amplifier designed for operation within gas atmospheres in hazardous zones 0, 1 & 2.
Mantracourt are specialists in the design and manufacture of electronics for measurement technologies including strain gauge, temperature, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, LVDT and displacement in either analogue, digital or wireless form. The launch of an ATEX approved amplifier brings a new offering to those customers based in hazardous environments such as processing plants and refineries and enables Mantracourt’s technology to be applied directly into Zone 0 (under EX marking II 1 G Ex ia IIC T4).

"Being able to manufacture an ATEX approved product provides Mantracourt with a broader appeal," says Brett James, Senior Engineer. "Mantracourt’s expertise is instrumentation and being able to offer a high performing cost effective amplifier with ATEX certification provides us with another set of capabilities. We are now planning to expand our range of ATEX products and are assessing expansion into our (DSC) Digital Strain Converters and (T24) Radio Telemetry range".

The high performance amplifier provides 2-wire 4-20mA current loop output and connects in-line providing signal conditioning for strain gauges, load cells, pressure and torque transducers. The ALA5 is intrinsically safe to EN60079-11 (previously EN50020) standards. The device can be connected to ATEX approved equipment within the hazardous zone or to non-approved ATEX equipment outside the hazardous zone provided that a suitable barrier is used.

"The amplifier in question was already a well established 2 wire 4-20mA product converting strain gauge input to a mA output," adds Brett . "Gaining ATEX approval for Zones 0 entailed intense scrutiny of the amplifier design and its component parts, ensuring that our manufacturing systems met the requirements of the safety legislation. Although the project took several months to complete it had been in the planning for sometime."

Mantracourt are also offering the internal signal amplifier component of the ALA5 for inclusion within OEM designs. The ICA5ATEX Embedded Load Cell Amplifier is a small single board, high performance solution and is designed to be fitted into the majority of transducers for a wide range of signal conditioning for strain gauges, load cells, pressure, torque, etc.

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